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The Service Children’s Progression Alliance (SCiP Alliance), has worked with partners across the UK to develop a self-reflection tool for schools to consider their support for children in Armed Forces families. Underpinned by rigorous research and thoroughly tested in school, the Thriving Lives Toolkit provides schools with a framework of 7 principles through which to reflect on their practice and suite of resources developed in collaboration with a range of partners across the UK.

This tool provides policy makers and practitioners with a clear picture of the number and distribution of Service children by local authority, based on English Service Pupil Premium data.

Kath Lawrence, SCiP Alliance Head of Operations, said “Children and young people in Armed Forces families have unique strengths and challenges. Discontinuity in learning, relationships and opportunities due to the complex and highly individual interplay of school transition and separation from parents can affect Service children’s achievement, progression and wellbeing. This toolkit will help teachers to reflect on their approach to supporting Service children and give them the tools to plan and deliver effective support. The SCiP Alliance’s network of Hubs will be organising a series of training conferences to further support schools in engaging with the Toolkit.”

 

Service parents are encouraged to share this with their child(ren)’s school.

 

Posted on: 29th October, 2020

Moving schools packs for parents and schools

These from CEAS packs can be used by parents and schools to supplement the information that schools must transfer by law. You can personalise the pack by using the sheets you find most useful, or you can add others that you think will help the school to know more about your child. The activity pack is aimed at children aged 6 to 11 years old, but you may want to adapt some of the ideas for your own child.

Download a copy of the moving school pack and pupil passport.

 

Common Transfer File – transferring between and from schools in England

The Naval Families Federation has been asking for better information transfer for Service pupils moving between schools, in response to feedback from families. A form called a Pupil Information Profile had been developed to enable schools to pass on information, but in practice it is not always used. From September 2018, the Common Transfer File (CTF), which is used by schools and local authorities to send pupil data whenever a pupil moves from one school to another in England, is being updated. This will improve the information being transferred and help to identify children who may need support as a result of their Service connection. It is not an extra form for schools to complete, but a normal part of their practice, and therefore likely to be more consistently used.

It contains a ‘flag’ which is used to identify a child’s Service status.

It also asks for four data items for Service children:

  • “Does the school have any concerns about the child’s response to moving school?”
  • “Does the school have any concerns about the child’s response to parental deployment?”
  • “Does the school have any concerns about the child’s response to parental separation?” (This field should be used to record concerns that the school has about Service children being separated from their parents due to extended training periods or other forms of duty.)
  • “Details about concerns”: this is a free text box in which the school can include further details about their concerns. The school may wish to include, in this free text section, contact details to assist in the integration of the new pupils.

The CTF system will be configured so that when a CTF is received by a school with the Service Child flag set to ‘Yes’, an alert will be automatically raised asking that a) the head teacher or appropriate member of staff should be informed of the identity of the Service child joining the school; and b) where the “concerns” section (described above) has not been completed, that the appropriate member of staff be informed and advised to contact the CTF sending school for clarification.

We would be interested to hear from families about their experiences of information transfer between schools. We are very aware that there are differences between the English system, the Devolved Governments and overseas provision. Do contact us and let us know about the challenges you have experienced, and also about examples of really effective practice.

 

Pupil Information Profile

The Pupil information profile (PIP) form is a transfer document which is consistent for all pupils in any school setting (regardless of location) to support specific aspects of a pupil’s background and learning.

It contains information that supports a young person’s future learning and parents are encouraged to bring this to the attention of their child’s school about using it as a helpful tool, when the child is about to move to another school. It is intended to support continuous learning by identifying the pupil’s current and future learning needs.

It can be downloaded here.

 

 

Posted on: 4th April, 2018
Updated on: 10th February, 2020

Deployment commitments have always meant difficulty for Royal Naval and Royal Marines families trying to tie in leave dates with school holidays.

 

Since September 2013, by law, head teachers are only able to grant requests for leave during term time in “exceptional circumstances”.

 

In July 2015, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) released additional advice for head teachers regarding school term time absence for the children of Armed Forces personnel, stating:

  • The educational needs of Service children affected will always be a critical factor when determining whether term-time absence should be granted.
  • As well as operational tours overseas or afloat, there are many situations where the unusual and often unpredictable demands of life in the Armed Forces may prevent Service families taking holidays together outside term time, which should be considered.
  • However as with all children, the decision on whether to authorise term-time holidays for the children of Service personnel sits solely with the Head Teacher of their school.
  • Separate advice should be provided to Service families explaining how they should present evidence when requesting absence during term-time, and reminding them firmly that the educational needs of their child(ren) will remain of great importance.
  • To assist Head Teachers in making their decisions on absence applications, Unit Commanding Officers and their Welfare Staff will be able to provide advice, verification and endorsement as required.
  • If Head Teachers are unsure how to make contact with the relevant Armed Forces unit they should contact the MOD’s Directorate Children and Young People at DCYP-DCYP-Mailbox@mod.gov.uk.

 

To read the MOD’s ‘School Term Time Absence for Children of Service Personnel Guidance’ in full, click here.

 

Find out more about this in our Homeport Magazine (Autumn 18 edition, p. 44-45) here.

 

Posted on: 12th May, 2016
Updated on: 10th February, 2020